Tue, 07 Feb 2017
IKEA bosses have said they are still working to find a long term solution to the carpark gridlock which regularly leaves customers trapped at the Calcot store for hours at a time.
On Sunday (February 5) customers were once again stuck in their cars for around two hours as they tried to leave the multistorey carpark.
However, despite the store insisting improvements have been made, traffic snarl-ups at peak times have become a regular occurrence, more than six months after the 32,000sq m store opened.
Angry motorists regularly take to social media to vent their frustration while unable to leave the 1000-space carpark with last Sunday being no different.
Disgruntled customer, Emma Breach, posted on Twitter:
Another motorist unable to leave the car park, Mike Shakesby, posted:
#IKEAReading - over an hour on top floor of car park, moved 5 car lengths. This is absolutely diabolical, can someone provide an update!?— Mike Shakesby (@mike_shakesby) February 5, 2017
Another motorist stuck in the carpark tweeted:
The #IKEAReading shows angry motorists have taken to Twitter to complain about the traffic chaos at the store on all but one weekend in 2017.
On January 22 one trapped customer became so fed up with the situation they decided to Tweet Thames Valley Police in the hope they could help to resolve the problem.
IKEA Reading store manager, Johanna Heuren, said the store was aware of the problems at peak times and encouraged customers to visit the store during quieter periods.
She said: “We are working closely with traffic consultants and West Berkshire Council to find a long term solution.
“In the meantime, we have a dedicated traffic management team on site to respond and keep traffic flowing as quickly as possible, should any problems occur at these times.
“Measures already implemented have included adjusting the signal timing at Sainsbury’s junction, additional signage and amending the traffic flows within the IKEA car park.”
“IKEA Reading welcomes customers until 9pm on weekdays and Saturdays. We invite customers who wish to avoid peak times and enjoy a quieter shopping experience to visit us during off-peak hours.”
The 32,000sq m store in Pincents Lane, Calcot opened in July 2016 to much excitement, however the opening weekend was marred by traffic chaos as shoppers became trapped in the carpark for more than three hours.
Gridlock has since become a regular feature during busy periods despite IKEA contributing £5m to improve the road network during its development in an attempt to ease the anticipated congestion.
PIC taken from Twitter @JenForakis